Friday, August 19, 2016

[Audiobook Review]: "In Your Dreams"

In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books (October 1, 2014)
Series: Blue Heron, 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancĂ©'s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero. 

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she'll have to start by believing in him… 



Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Narration time: 12 hours, 44 minutes


Where to Buy*:
More Info:

My Review:



I'm not even going to lie: I hated a lot of this book. And I don't like saying that, but the point of being a reviewer is to honestly share the good and the bad. And for me, this one falls into the bad category. Let me try to explain why.


The biggest issue I had was with the exes. Yes, I said exes, as in plural. Em's ex and his new wife, as well as Jack's ex, both show up in this book. A lot. Like, easily they're in 75% of the book, in some way or another.


What's worse is they are terrible, bring so much drama to the book -- and to Em's life especially, Jack is mostly unaffected by it all, to be honest -- and are both annoying as hell. I practically broke a tooth grinding my teeth so hard while listening to much of the book, and it was almost always because of those two (three with Kevin's new wife). Side note: I'm still not sure why Em and her family were even at Kevin's wedding, other than to provide the starting drama for this story.


Hadley (that's Jack's ex) probably bothered me the most because she spent so much time actually in the book and therefore in their lives. She's the stereotypical crazy, clingy ex that can wrap any man, even Jack, around her finger, but only the heroine/other women can see what she's capable of. I can't even fully explain to you just how frustrated I was by her and her actions throughout the book. And since, as I said, she's in a LOT of the book, that's a lot of negative for me to just get over and try to enjoy the rest of the book.


Spoiler alert: I couldn't do that.


Also related to the terrible exes, a good deal (a few chapters at least) is told from the past, when they were each with their exes. I'm okay with glimpses into the hero and heroine's past, especially if it helps to explain to the reader why they act a certain way now, etc. But this, combined with the fact that I hated the exes, didn't work for me. In fact, I had a harder time connecting to Jack and Em's budding relationship because it seemed that so much of the story was instead focused on their past relationships and how those relationships are still causing them trouble.


There was also more than a few jokes and jabs about Em's family thinking she's a lesbian and very "butch" rather than girly. One scene really bothered me though, when one of Em's friends told her to "take your hair down, you look gay" and then after reaching over to undo Em's hair says that she now looks "very hetero". UGH. I hate that, joke or not, this is even being said. As if clothes, hairstyle or style expressions in general, are hetero or gay. No. No. NOOOOOO. Perhaps it's just a harmless joke that Higgins and her editor thought nothing of, but I didn't care for it.


Higgins' writing style is nothing great for me. Even when the story was going okay -- no ex drama - I was left underwhelmed, easily checking out during my walks, and not caring to replay the parts I missed.


I realize that closed-door romances are Higgins thing and always will be -- and that's fine because that's what some readers love, and we do need different heat levels to satisfy different readers. But I'm not the reader for the no-sex romances. I knew this going in, so I can't cry foul. But it doesn't stop me from missing the sex, especially in a book where I already had issues with so many other things.


I was pissed at the characters a lot, and frankly  didn't care about their HEA, just wanted to finish and move on. I'm very glad it was a library book and not one that I paid for.


This was my third time reading Higgins, and definitely my least favorite (previous books were 3 and 3.5 stars). Considering that, I'll be honest: I won't be reading Higgins again, library book or not. I've now realized that Higgins just doesn't work for me. Even the previous two that were okay were just that -- okay. Nothing special, nothing that excited me after I closed the book. Other readers obviously love her books, and that's fine! I can see why many do, there are some fun and cute moments in her books. I can't deny that. But even that's not enough for me. It's not that I hate her writing, it's just that there are so many other books that I am blown away by, so many others that I'm dying to read. Too many for me to waste my time with another book that might annoy me at worst, disappoint me at best. And that's okay. A reader has to pick her battles if she's to even attempt to conquer the endless TBR.


Narration: I've not listened to Amy Rubinate before but she did a decent job with this one. I'd say about average because there was nothing wrong or annoying with her narration, but there also wasn't anything about it that turned the book into a can't-be-missed experience. Would I listen to her again? Absolutely. I liked her voice well enough.


Of note, in regards to my particular audio copy from Overdrive: Chapter 30 was "unavailable" no matter how many times I downloaded and restarted the files. The rest of the book was fine, but I never got to hear 13 minutes of the book -- the ending, no less. And frankly, I wasn't bothered by this, which probably says it all, really.


Story: 2.5 Stars
Narration: 3.5 Stars
Overall: 2.5 Stars


2 1/2 STARS! 


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I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

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Are you a fan of Higgins? Just because her books don't work the best for me doesn't mean I don't want to hear about YOUR favorite! :)



Enjoy!


Until Next Time,


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